John 4:1-26 True Worship and Samaritans

Written by Paul J. Bucknell on October, 07, 2019

John 4:1-7, 19-26 — A Study:  A More Glorious Worship

Main Point:

Traditions can shape and distort our concepts of worship more than the teachings of God’s Word, but Jesus, through the New Covenant, issues a new age with the all-embracing and refreshing worship of God through His life.

Observations of John 4:1-7 (NASB*)

1 Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), 3 He left Judea and went away again into Galilee. 4 And He had to pass through Samaria. 5 So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; 6 and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”

Interpretation of John 4:1-7

  1. What do you know of Samaria’s background (2 Kings 17:12,5-6)?
  2. Describe the composition of the Samaritans (Ezra 4:10).
  3. What might be the implications of “He had to pass through Samaria” (4)?
  4. Why do you think Jesus stopped there at Jacob’s well (6-7)?
  5. Why did the disciples think it odd that Jesus spoke with her (27)?

Observations of John 4:19-26 (NASB*)

19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

A Brief History of the Samaritans

  • Shechem (Jacob Gen 33:18-20)
  • Omni bought hill and named Samaria (1 Kings 16:23-24)
  • King Ahab first Samaria as capital (1 Kings 16:29)
  • Judged and deported for evil (2 Kings 17:1-1, 5-6)
  • Mixed people (“half-Jew”) (Ezra 4:10)
  • Origin of Samaritan worship (2 Kings 17:24-29)
  • Jerusalem distanced from Samaria (Ezra 4:1-4)
  • Temple on Mt. Gerizim around 450 BC. (cf. John 4:19)

Interpretation of John 4:19-26

  • What do we know about the Samaritans’ view of worship (20,25)?
  • How and why does Jesus shift the focus of the conversation (20-21)?
  • What did Jesus say in verse 22? Why do you think Jesus spoke so strongly here?
  • What aspects of worship does Jesus here consider most fundamental (22-26)? What does He mean or imply by each?

  • How did Jesus expand a key element of worship in verses 25-26?

Applications of John 4:19-26 on Your Life

  • How do tradition and denomination sometimes shape our view of worship? (Consider charismatic, our church, Anglican, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant)
  • Restate the key aspects of worship and relate how we can specifically apply them to our lives?
  • What one aspect of the worship of God could be improved in your life, and why?


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